Friday, March 29, 2013

Then & Now ~ Black Sparkles


Ball Gown  1898  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Almost Now

Almost Now Evening Ensemble  Arnold Scaasi, 1958  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Then & Now ~ Black Lace


 Evening Dress  1906-1908  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Office Inspires Fashion

I'm still so in love with my new office decorating extravaganza it's rather percolating into everything, Fashionable Reader. So I thought I might go with it. The office is basically, downstairs, dark green and creams. So here are some before and after pictures combined with picks on clothes and vintage pieces. (The interior design images are mostly from Houzz.)

The Office

 Before & After: Entry

Inspired by . . .

Inspiring . . .

At Mysterious Galaxy

Alexander McQueen metal bow belt from

Stella & Dot Liz drop earrings at

The Office

 Corner: Before & After

Inspired by...

Inspiring . . .

Rose gold plated sterling silver drop earrings from

 1910s  via Antique Dress

The Office

 Before & After: Food Area

Inspired by . . .

Inspiring . . .

Tourmaline Pendant  Doyle Auctions

Lulu Frost gold and silver-plated crystal necklace at

Power Stud bodycon dress at

Tiffany & Co. via Christie’s

 1954 Dress  Norman Norell  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Office

The Ambassador in his new home

Inspired by . . .

Inspiring . . .

via Refinery 29 on Pinterest

From Pookaqueen on Etsy


For My Characters:

Sophronia, after the Finishing School books

1866-1868  Les Arts Décoratifs

Alexia in Timeless

1875 Afternoon Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ivy after events in the Parasol Protectorate books

 1888 Court Presentation Ensemble  Charles Fredrick Worth  The Indianapolis Museum of Art

1880 Tourmaline Ring

Prudence & Primrose in the Parasol Protectorate Abroad series

 1904  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 1909-1911  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fuzzy pillow!

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring 2013

As I am certain you are aware, Fashionable Reader, the Spring 2013 fashions hit the runways many months ago. I, however, like to collect my thoughts on the subject in order to actually blog about it in the springtime. Crazy talk.

Well as I plan for Denver, where I understand it is glacial, I am pleased to report that here in NorCal Spring most certainly has arrived. Spring may be the prettiest season in my neck of the bay ~ there's actual greenery around and it's not too hot. I love it. I also loved a great many of the Spring fashions this year. I did keep the Rack in mind and tried to choose outfits with good coverage, with Spring/Summer in mind this can be difficult, curses upon you spaghetti strap!

Gail's Favorite Picks of Spring 2013

Full A-Line Print Skirt

 Alice + Olivia and Kate Spade

I adore these cool full skirts with an eye towards some mixing of patterns. This adds an edge of modern to a silhouette and companion separates that scream retro. Also, note the flats? I love seeing flats in high end outfits.

Soft Pink Pencil Cut

 Elie Saab; Borgia Valentina; Zac Poison (runway screen shots)

I've only recently come around to pink, and light pink even less so. However, it works with my complexion, and a baby color in a body-conscious pencil cut is a fun contradiction. It's girly but not too girly because of the cut. I love all three of these options: an office dress, a flirty print with long sleeves, and a curvy suit.

Smart Separates

Fendi; Kate Spade; Tory Birch (runway screen shots)

A number of designers put separates down the runway for sprint. I loved all of these and I can see them mixing and matching with each other well. There's some great use of texture and a touch of pattern. They all included a cream sandal, which seems the it shoe for Spring.

Shades of Blue

 Elie Saab (runway screen cap); Lauren Moffat via

 Vivian Westwood ignore the crazy make up (runway screen cap)

I tend to think that no matter what your complexion there's a shade of blue out there for everyone ~ be it a dark steel, bright royal, or soft baby blue. Westwood even put a yellow blue down her runway. These four featured great necklines, good wide shoulder straps allowing for a supportive bra, and modest lady-like skirt lengths. All, except the trumpet skirt, would be great with flats as well as heels.

Red Print

Borgia Valentina; Zac Poison

I can hardly let a season pass without picking something red. I do love red so much. This year there were some great red prints, I seriously covet that Valentina, mmmm.

There are a couple of other trends you might notice in my picks above: ankle strap heels are big and structured bags are still around (only now in prints and pastel colors). Also there was a lot of retro style make up, and clean tidy hair pulled back off the face.

Interested in other people's favorites? Here's some less Retro Rack minded thoughts on SS2013.

I also could not let Spring pass without posting this great picture from Mad Men's up coming season. Love the colors.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.